Maureen O'Hara wrote in her autobiography that she was responsible for getting the film made. She found the script for Sentimental Journey and persuaded executive Lew Schreiber to green light the film, despite Schreiber's doubts that it would make money. Once production was over and the film was screened, it was a different story. "It was a rip-your-heart-out tearjerker that reduced my agents and the toughest brass at Fox to mush when they saw it. Lou Wasserman sobbed so loudly that he embarrassed himself. Audiences ate it up, Fox made a fortune, and I was hoping that critics might actually mention my performance for a change instead of focusing on my looks."
Sentimental Journey was a box office hit when it was released in March 1946, but not with everyone. Harvard University students voted it the Worst Film of All Time. The critics didn't go quite that far but most found it clichéd and emotionally manipulative. The New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, in one of his more colorful reviews, called it "utterly mawkish [...] a compound of hackneyed situations, maudlin dialogue and preposterously bad acting and is illogical all the way through. [...]Only William Bendix, who plays an amiable chump, gives a droll and refreshing representation of a person who might possibly exist." Buck Herzog of The Milwaukee Sentinel wrote "If all the tears shed during the unreeling of Sentimental Journey were poured on top of each other, you'd need hip boots to get out of the Palace Theater this week." However, it was the ticket-buying public that Fox was aiming for and the public loved it. So did John Payne and Maureen O'Hara, who both named it as a personal favorite. It proved to be a favorite with Maureen O'Hara fans as well. Aubrey Malone wrote in a biography of O'Hara, that when the actress traveled the world, "people would come up to her and sigh 'Oh, you were in my favorite movie.' She would be expecting them to say it was The Hunchback of Notre Dame  or The Quiet Man  or maybe How Green Was My Valley  but they often named Sentimental Journey."
By Lorraine LoBianco
Crowther, Bosley "The Screen; 'Sentimental Journey' Makes Debut at Roxy, with Maureen O'Hara, Cedric Hardwicke" The New York Times 7 Mar 46
Herzog, Buck "Reviews of New Shows" The Milwaukee Sentinel /I> 29 Mar 46
The Internet Movie Database
Malone, Aubrey Maureen O'Hara: The Biography
O'Hara, Maureen and Nicoletti, John 'Tis Herself: An Autobiography
Tyler, Don Music of the Postwar Era